2019 Cherry Blossom Photo Tour | Miyajima and Hiroshima

Jul 15 | Evan | No Comments |

After spending 2 nights in Tokyo, the 2019 cherry blossom photo tour of Japan traveled by bullet train to Miyajima. While tour was without rain so far, colder than normal temperatures had Japan feeling more like Japan in the winter rather than Japan during cherry blossom season. For the most part, the cooler temperatures during cherry blossom season in Japan helped by slowing what started as an early blooming cherry blossom season and the cherry blossoms held their pose for us just a little longer!

Miyajima Island
Miyajima Island

The two photos above are courtesy of and created by one of our group’s photographers, Daniel Leffel. Take a look at Daniel’s website for more excellent photography not only of Japan but all over the word.

Miyajima is one of my favorite places to bring photographers in Japan. Actually, even for my less or non photography oriented tours of Japan, Miyajima and Hiroshima are always a pleasure to visit.

The 2019 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour took a small group of photographers to Japan. We started in Tokyo and continued to Hiroshima, Miyajima, Himeji Castle, Kyoto and Mt. Fuji from Shizuoka and from Fuji Five Lakes. Here is the trip report from the 2019 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan and the 2018 Cherry Blossom Photo Tour of Japan. The 2020 Cherry Blossom Photo Tour of Japan is already planned and live! Limited spots are available for the 2020 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan, with first booking already reserved!

Below is a gallery of cherry blossom photos from our days in Miyajima.

2019 Cherry Blossom Photo Tour | Tokyo Portrait Session

Jun 14 | Evan | No Comments |

During my cherry blossom tours of Japan, we almost always have a portrait session in Kyoto with a real maiko or geiko but during the 2019 cherry blossom photography tour we also had a portrait session in Tokyo with a model living in Tokyo. Last summer in Tokyo I photographed the same model so it was good to work together with her again and everyone created some nice portraits in Tokyo.

Tokyo Cherry Blossoms
Tokyo Cherry Blossoms

The two photos above are courtesy of and created by one of our group’s photographers, Daniel Leffel. Take a look at Daniel’s website for more excellent photography not only of Japan but all over the word.

During our portrait session in Tokyo we started with some street photography in the Harajuku area and then moved to Yoyogi Park for cherry blossoms in the background.

The 2019 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour took a small group of photographers to Japan. We started in Tokyo and continued to Hiroshima, Miyajima, Himeji Castle, Kyoto and Mt. Fuji from Shizuoka and from Fuji Five Lakes. Here is the trip report from the 2019 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan and the 2018 Cherry Blossom Photo Tour of Japan. The 2020 Cherry Blossom Photo Tour of Japan is already planned and live! Limited spots are available for the 2020 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan, with first booking already reserved!

See the gallery below for more portraits of our model portrait session in Tokyo during cherry blossom season.

2019 Cherry Blossom Photo Tour | Tokyo

May 24 | Evan | No Comments |

The 2019 cherry blossom season in Japan was an interesting one in terms of cherry blossom timing. A warm winter had the cherry blossoms start blooming earlier than normal in most places in Japan, including cherry blossoms in Tokyo, but a sudden cold spell had spring closer to winter temperatures and paused the cherry blossoms throughout the country. The sudden cold weather in Japan along little rain meant that cherry blossom season was extended in 2019, perfect for visitors traveling in Japan hoping to see and photograph cherry blossoms in Japan!

The 2019 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan was limited to 6 travelers including me. Keeping the group size smaller gives us more flexibility traveling in Japan and customizing the trip towards each member’s preferences and interests in Japan and interests in photography in Japan.

The two photos above are courtesy of and created by one of our group’s photographers, Daniel Leffel. Take a look at Daniel’s website for more excellent photography not only of Japan but all over the word.

The photography group only stayed 2 nights in Tokyo but total we spent 14 nights and 15 days traveling around Japan, photographing Japan, experiencing Japan and of course, eating lot’s of Japanese food! While the 2019 cherry blossom season was wonderful, I hope the 2020 cherry blossom season in Japan is a little warmer!

The 2019 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour took a small group of photographers to Japan. We started in Tokyo and continued to Hiroshima, Miyajima, Himeji Castle, Kyoto and Mt. Fuji from Shizuoka and from Fuji Five Lakes. Here is the trip report from the 2019 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan and the 2018 Cherry Blossom Photo Tour of Japan. The 2020 Cherry Blossom Photo Tour of Japan is already planned and live! Limited spots are available for the 2020 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan, with first booking already reserved!

See the gallery below for more photos taken in Tokyo during our cherry blossom photography tour of Japan.

Tour of Japan | Cary Academy Goes to Japan 2018 – Experiences

Nov 26 | Evan | No Comments |

This summer, Japan Photo Guide by Evan Pike was once again able to offer a spectacular trip to Japan just for Cary Academy students. Katie Taylor, 6th grade Language Arts teacher and Japan enthusiast, co-led the group with Evan. We began our trip in Tokyo, then traveled to Nagoya, Hiroshima, and Kyoto before returning home from Osaka. This post is written by Katie Taylor, a 6th grade teacher at Cary Academy and Japan enthusiast.

Read about our 2016 trip to Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Kyoto or see all reports from the 2018 tour of Japan.


We call our trip for CA students “Experience Japan” for good reason: we don’t just ride a tour bus from location to location looking at things, but we include a wide variety of hands-on experiences that allow students to connect with the people and culture of Japan in authentic ways. I’ve already mentioned the cooking lesson at Yuca’s home and the origami lesson at Origami Kaikan, both of which were amazing experiences.

One of our first experiences on this year’s trip was a visit to a VR arcade in Tokyo, VR Zone Shinjuku. “Arcade” doesn’t seem like the right word since it conjures up images of American shopping malls and Pac-Man; this was more like an indoor amusement park. We played MarioKart and other games or just watched. The arcade is set up with viewing screens, so your friends can see what you’re seeing on the VR headset.

Probably the most unique experience we had was visiting a brand new avant-garde art installation in Odaiba, one of the newest areas of Tokyo. “Team Lab Borderless” is a totally unique museum experience in which the user interacts with the art. There are huge displays of moving flowers that are projected on the walls and your body. There are rooms full of inflated shapes that you can walk through. There’s a slide, things to climb, a “forest” to walk through, a room full of lights that makes it feel like you’re underwater, and even two different rooms in which you can design your own flower, fish, or animal using a coloring page and then see your design literally move across the floors and walls of the exhibit. 

While in Kyoto, we had the chance to participate in some classic Japanese experiences that everyone should do at least once. We learned traditional calligraphy from a calligraphy artist, participated in a tea ceremony, learned the basics of kendo (swordmanship), and played taiko (drums). 

 

Of course some of the most memorable experiences happen with the least planning. For example, one day in Kyoto we visited a temple and found an unexpected art show! A mother and her daughter were showcasing their designs. The mother’s art was made using dried flowers that she finds on her walks and the daughter did playful calligraphy. We were so enthralled we ended up buying a few pieces!

Any animals we saw were a big hit for our group too. We enjoyed visiting the Grand Ise Shrine, but the local cats we found afterwards were probably as memorable as our visit to the ancient pilgrimage site. We saw fish, fed deer, and even found a Shiba Inu hanging out at a restaurant waiting for his owner! I think we may have some future Shiba owners in our group.

Older Entries Newer Entries